“Sagas and the Viking World” is the theme of the 10th Annual Nordic Spirit Symposium which takes place February 6-7, 2009 at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks.The two-day event brings leading scholars and performing artists from Europe and the U.S. to inform and entertain.
A colorful journey into the Viking Age, this year’s symposium will revolve around the Icelandic Sagas, the richest legacy of the Viking Age, hailed and studied throughout the world.
Kicking off the two-day event, Symposium-goers will mingle with presenters and performers at a gala reception.
Moving into Samuelson Chapel, the Friday evening program will begin at 7 p.m. with a colorful celebration of art forms of the Viking Age. Returning to the Symposium stage will be Norwegian Viking specialist Marit Synnøve Vea, who will delve into narratives around goddesses, Valkyries, housewives and mistresses – some of the diverse roles women of the age played in life and literature. Vea is project manager of the Avaldsnes Project, Norway, where she directs a recreation of Viking Age life.
The collection of Icelandic sagas is considered one of the great world literatures. Presenting an overview of this Norse legacy will be Merrill Kaplan of Ohio State University.
And proving that the sagas are more than a dead literature of the past, Minnesota poet and educator Bill Holm will discuss “Living Every Day in Iceland with the Still Alive Sagas.” Poet, musician, wit and polemicist, he has been described by Garrison Keillor of PBS’ Prairie Home Companion as “the tallest radical humorist in the Midwest and a truthful and graceful writer.” As Symposium-goers learned last year, the sagas owe their very existence to Christian writers, who preserved the narratives of the pagan past. Anders Winroth of Yale University will speak on “Pagan Norway turns Christian: A Few Facts and Many Fictions.”
Wrapping up the day will be a performance by Finnish-born singer and flutist, Ulla Suokko, along with flamenco guitarist Carlos Revollar, in “Dancing with the Northern Lights – A Musical-Magical Journey into the World of the Valkyries.” The two musical storytellers will also entertain at the Saturday evening dinner celebration in the Lundring Events Center at CLU. The dinner begins at 7 p.m.
Reservation s are recommended but not necessary for the presentations, to which students will be admitted free of charge. Regitrations, call (818) 788-4552 or e-mail seeallan@sbcglobal.net. For More info, see www.callutheran.edu